How to Get Insurance to Pay for Your Tummy Tuck

You’ve been through pregnancy after pregnancy. Or you’ve lost a massive amount of weight. Now you’re left looking at a belly that sags and droops no matter how many crunches you do. You want your pre-baby (or pre-weight loss) body back. A tummy tuck could be the answer, but who can afford that surgery out of pocket? Don’t lose hope just yet. There are a few ways you may be able to get your insurance to cover a tummy tuck. With some persistence and strategic planning, you could get the firmer, flatter stomach you’ve been dreaming of – covered by insurance.

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Tummy Tucks

So you’ve decided to get a tummy tuck and now you want to know if insurance will help foot the bill. The short answer is: it depends. Most insurance plans don’t consider a tummy tuck medically necessary. However, if you meet certain criteria, you may be able to get partial or even full coverage.

Medical necessity

The number one factor in getting insurance to pay for your tummy tuck is proving medical necessity. This could be excess skin causing physical symptoms like rashes, infections, or back pain. You’ll need documentation from your doctor about your symptoms and that a tummy tuck is the recommended treatment. Photos of the excess skin and its impact on your daily life can also help strengthen your case.

Weight loss surgery

If you’ve had bariatric surgery for weight loss and have been left with large amounts of excess abdominal skin, your insurance may cover a tummy tuck. This is because the procedure can be deemed medically necessary to treat side effects from the bariatric surgery. You’ll still need documentation from your doctor, and coverage will depend on meeting your insurance’s criteria for reconstructive surgery following weight loss.

Hernia repair

If you have an abdominal wall hernia that requires repair, insurance may cover a tummy tuck done at the same time. The tummy tuck portion may be considered medically necessary to provide the best possible results and properly repair the abdominal wall. You and your surgeon will need to make a strong case to your insurance company, providing details on why a tummy tuck is necessary for successful hernia repair in your specific situation.

While getting insurance to pay for a tummy tuck can be challenging, it is possible. By understanding the key factors insurance companies consider and working closely with your doctor, you can make a persuasive argument that your tummy tuck meets the criteria for medically necessary care. With patience and persistence, you may just win them over!

Meeting the Requirements for Medical Necessity

To have insurance cover your tummy tuck, you’ll need to prove it’s medically necessary. This typically means showing how the procedure will improve your health or correct a functional impairment.

Some of the most common reasons insurance may consider a tummy tuck medically necessary include:

  • Excess skin causing rashes, infections, or mobility issues. If you have hanging skin that’s causing medical problems, a tummy tuck to remove it can be considered medically necessary. You’ll need records from your doctor documenting the issues it’s causing.
  • Ventral hernia repair. If you have a ventral hernia (a bulge of tissue through a weak spot in the abdominal wall), a tummy tuck may be needed to adequately repair and reinforce the abdominal wall. Discuss hernia repair surgery options with your surgeon.

-Muscle repair. If your abdominal muscles have been damaged or separated through pregnancy or extreme weight loss, a tummy tuck to tighten and repair them may qualify as medically necessary. You’ll need a diagnosis of abdominal muscle damage or diastasis recti from your doctor.

Getting a Letter of Support From Your Doctor

So, you’ve made the decision to pursue insurance coverage for your tummy tuck—congratulations! The first step is getting your doctor on board to vouch for the medical necessity of your procedure. Schedule an appointment to discuss the issues you’re experiencing that a tummy tuck can correct, like muscle separation or excess skin that’s causing skin rashes or mobility problems.

Explain Your Symptoms

Be prepared to give your doctor specific examples of how your abdominal muscles or excess skin are negatively impacting your quality of life. Discuss health issues you’ve experienced, physical limitations, and discomfort. The more details you can provide, the stronger case your doctor can make for your insurance company.

Request a Letter of Medical Necessity

Ask your doctor if they would be willing to write a letter of medical necessity on your behalf to submit to your insurance provider. Explain that insurance companies often require this type of documentation from a physician to determine if a procedure should be covered. Your doctor can outline your symptoms, medical history, failed conservative treatments (if any), and explain why a tummy tuck is medically necessary in your situation.

Provide Supporting Documentation

Offer to provide your doctor with any other documentation that could support their letter. This could include photos of your abdominal issues, a log of symptoms and limitations, physical therapy or chiropractic records, etc. The more evidence you can provide, the better. Your doctor can then specifically reference this documentation in their letter to further demonstrate why you need this procedure.

Submitting a Claim and Appealing Denials

You’ve decided you want insurance to cover your tummy tuck—great! But the process of submitting a claim and appealing any denials does take some work. The key is to provide as much documentation as possible to show why the procedure is medically necessary.

Gather Your Medical Records

Ask your doctor for detailed records showing how excess fat and skin in your abdominal area is impacting your health or quality of life. Records of any rashes, infections, or physical limitations the excess skin has caused will be especially helpful. You should also provide “before” photos to demonstrate the severity of your condition.

Check Your Policy Coverage

Double check that your insurance policy does not specifically exclude coverage for tummy tucks or abdominoplasties. Some policies may cover it if deemed medically necessary, while others exclude it altogether. If it’s not excluded, you’ll need to make the case for medical necessity.

Submit a Prior Authorization Request

Ask your doctor to submit a prior authorization request to your insurance provider. This will allow them to review your medical records and determine if they will cover the tummy tuck before the surgery takes place. Be prepared for them to request additional records or documentation to support the request.

Appeal Any Denials

If your claim is denied, don’t give up hope. Appeal the decision, providing any additional evidence you have that shows how the procedure will relieve medical issues or significantly improve your quality of life. Your doctor can also write a letter of medical necessity to strengthen your appeal. Many people are successful in overturning denials, especially for the first appeal. Stay persistent and keep appealing—you deserve to have this procedure covered if it’s truly medically necessary.

While the process can be frustrating, many people are able to get insurance to cover their tummy tuck by providing thorough medical documentation and not giving up in the face of denials. Do your research, get the right records in order, and keep appealing—your effort will pay off!

Other Options for Financing Your Tummy Tuck

Borrow Money from 401(k) or IRA

If you have a retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA, you may be able to borrow money from it to pay for your tummy tuck. The benefit is that you’re borrowing from yourself, so you don’t have to go through a bank or pay interest. However, if you leave your job or can’t repay the loan, it may be considered an early withdrawal and subject to penalties. It’s best to check with your plan administrator to understand the details.

Home Equity Loan or HELOC

If you have equity in your home, you can take out a home equity loan or HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) to finance your tummy tuck. Interest rates are often lower than credit cards, and interest may be tax deductible. However, your home is used as collateral, so you risk losing it if you can’t repay the loan. Make sure you understand the terms before borrowing against your home.

Medical Credit Cards

Some medical credit cards like CareCredit offer promotional financing for cosmetic procedures like tummy tucks. This allows you to pay over time with no interest if paid in full within a certain period, often 6-24 months. However, if not paid in full, interest charges may apply to the entire original balance. Be very cautious of the terms before opening a medical credit card.


Crowdfunding websites allow you to create a campaign to raise money for medical expenses like a tummy tuck. Friends, family, and strangers can then donate to your campaign. The benefit is that the money is donated, so you don’t have to repay it. However, there is a risk that you may not raise the entire amount needed. You’ll also need to share personal details about your medical situation and procedure on the public website.

As you can see, there are a few options for financing your tummy tuck other than paying cash upfront. However, most come with risks like high-interest charges, penalties for non-repayment, or damage to your credit. Make sure you understand all the details before borrowing money for your procedure.

READ ALSO: The Benefits of Adding an Insured Cosigner to a Loan


So there you have it, folks. Getting insurance to cover your tummy tuck takes some work, but it’s possible if you meet the requirements. Do your homework, get the right documentation from your doctor, and submit your claim properly. With some persistence and patience, you may be able to get the body you want without breaking the bank.

Remember, this isn’t easy or guaranteed, but it’s worth looking into if a tummy tuck is something you feel you really need. Don’t be afraid to appeal a denial or negotiate if you get pushback. Your health and happiness are worth fighting for. Wishing you the best of luck in your journey to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin!

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